World rally driver Daniel Sordo has Diego Maradona’s autographed shirt in his possession. Many would pay a fortune for it.
Atmosphere it’s like being in the football stands of a big game. It’s raining too, but it doesn’t stop the screaming storm.
The crowd screams Diegoo, Diegoo and bounces wildly.
But now it’s not in the football stands, but at the World Cup rally in Argentina in 2008.
The Citroën team had invited Argentina’s national hero and one of the greatest footballers of all time Diego Maradona as a guest. That’s why the crowd went wild.
Citroën’s French steering virtuoso Sébastien Loeb gave ball maestro Maradona a ride in his rally car before the start of the actual competition.
Maradona seemed to enjoy his opportunity and stated that he was lucky to be on such a ride.
Maradona was also known as a fan of powerful and sporty cars. He had at least a Ferrari Testaro and Mercedes-Benz sporty models at his disposal.
Maradona also got Loeb’s autograph on his overalls at the event. In return, Maradona gave the Citroën drivers his Argentina national team shirt with his autograph.
The team’s Spanish driver at the time also got a jersey like that Daniel Sordo. He was visibly happy with his “prey”.
At that time, some time had already passed since Maradona’s active years ended, and it was probably not the shirt that Maradona had worn in the match. Still, very few have an Argentina jersey with Maradona’s autograph.
“I still have Maradona’s shirt in a safe place at home. I’m not going to sell it. It’s not for sale. Why would I do something like that, no no. I don’t know what something like that could cost, but there’s no price for it in my mind,” current Hyundai driver Sordo says Sardinia at the center of the World Rally Championship in Olbia.
“I don’t follow football very actively, but meeting Diego and getting that shirt was something really special. I also have a picture of us together with Maradona,” Sordo, 40, enthuses.
I still have Maradona’s shirt in a safe place at home. I’m not going to sell it. It is not for sale. Why would I do that, no no.
Argentina Maradona, who led to the memorable world championship in 1986, worked as the head coach of his country’s national team after his playing career.
The superstar, who lived a phased and partially drugged life, died at the age of 60 in November 2020.
Maradona was the king of football, but there were dark sides to his life. His death still came unexpectedly. It was a sad thing,” Sordo thinks.
He remembers the encounter with Maradona at the Argentina Rally 2008 with great warmth.
“Diego is so hugely popular it’s hard to fathom. That going was crazy, even restless. But all in all, it was a wonderful thing for me, the team and those people.”
Argentina won the world championship in the last games Lionel Messi’s in the lead and Maradona’s former club Napoli won the Italian championship for a long time.
“The World Cup was important for the Argentine people. It was a good boost for a nation that has had its difficulties. The celebration in Buenos Aires was something absolutely incredible,” says Sordo.
“And as a player, Messi is on his own level,” Sordo continues.
The Spanish driver has not met Messi.
“Of course I would like to meet him. Maybe someday I’ll also get his shirt next to Maradona’s shirt. It wouldn’t be a bad thing at all,” Sordo laughs.
Sordo has won three WC rallies in his career, two of these victories have come specifically in Sardinia.
“This rally is always difficult. Especially this year, this can be a difficult race because of the weather conditions, it has even rained. You should drive smart here and avoid unnecessary mistakes. That way you will get a good result”, says Sordo.
Sordo’s rally got off to a bad start as he slipped out on Friday and wrecked his car.
In general, Sordo, who has become known for his smooth and confident performance, has recorded a total of 55 podium places in the World Championship.
He turned 40 years old in May.
“I can’t say how much longer I’ll be rallying in the World Series. But I’m not going to stop racing. I’ll be driving in another racing category later.”
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